Nearly every business has some type of items that need to be stored. Some storage areas require drawers, some require bins and some just require basic shelving. Whatever the case, an effective storage system requires a planned approach in order to improve the effectiveness of the storage and picking of inventory areas.
The easiest way to design an effective storage plan is to look at the physical properties of each item that will be stored. An evaluation of each item’s size and weight will determine a good location in a bin, drawer or section of shelving. Items should be divided into groups of small, medium and large as well as light average and heavy. This information is important as it aids in selection the depth of storage unit.
Order Picking Guidelines
Operators who pick and stock items from storage units function best by follwoing these rules:
- Large, light items stored above the shoulder.
- Small items of average weight are best stored between the should and hip so operator can see into small openings or down into extended drawers and yet be able to physically lift and place them.
- Larger sized, heavy items are best stored below the hip location so that the operator can use leg muscles for lifting.
- The depth of the storage unit is determined by the ability of the operator to see and reach the parts being stored. Small items should be stored in shallow units.
In addition to taking into account the size of parts it is very important to figure out which parts are used most often. Studies show that 80% of activity only occurs on 20% of inventory. High activity items should be placed as close to the shoulder / hip zone as possible.
Selecting a Storage Product
“A place for everything and everything in its place.”
One of the most important rules to follow in the storage of parts is that each part must have a separate location unto itself. This separate location provides a space that can be selected to fit maximum inventory quantities required and provide a fixed location that can be identified by part number or coordinates.
- Items like plastic bins or drawers with dividers are an easy way to separate products.
- Parts that are average in size should be stored in large bins, deep drawers or divided shelf openings.
Floor Plan Guidelines
It is best to keep high activity areas closest to the incoming and outgoing entry points.